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U.s. 110, Libya 49, Yemen 41, Cairo 22, Benghazi 21, United States 20, Us 18, Egypt 15, The U.s. 12, Washington 10, Chris Stevens 9, Christine 9, Barbara Starr 7, Mohammed Morsi 6, Hakim 5, Tripoli 5, Pentagon 5, Navy 4, T. Rowe 4, Moammar Gadhafi 4,
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  CNN    Early Start    News/Business. John Berman, Zoraida Sambolin.  
   The latest breaking news and trending stories. New.  

    September 13, 2012
    5:00 - 7:00am EDT  

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that's it for us. thanks for watching. "early start" begins now. this is cnn breaking news. we begin this morning with breaking news from yemen. mass protests at the u.s. embassy in yemeni capital of sanaa. these right here, these are live pictures of what's going on right now outside the u.s. embassy compound in the city of sanaa. >> barbara, we understand you
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have been to that particular embassy. what can you tell us? >> those pictures are very familiar, zoraida and christine. this embassy is located on a very busy, commercial street in the capital. what i can tell you, this is one of the most secure embassies that the united states has. it looks like they are very close to that front gate situation. the yemeni forces control the street, the outside perimeter of the embassy. there are checkpoints and anyone on that street who tries to approach the embassy is stopped well before they get there. this is a place that has seen many protests, has seen attacks, seen attempted attacks. one of the most secure. but let's be very cautious here. we have seen the unrest at u.s. installations over the last few days. reports are the yemeni forces are trying to control the
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situation. we will have to keep monitoring this in the coming hours. >> barbara, we are hearing about shots fired. is that some inside the embassy out or from outside the embassy in? >> well, the reports that i-witnesses are giving indicate that yemeni forces have been firing into the air at this point, trying to disperse the crowd. perhaps i think trying to move them away from the gate of the embassy, trying to move them back. there are a variety of security forces that are at the embassy as i say. it is on that street u.s. forces, marines, u.s. contract security forces, state department diplomatic security would not typically, almost never, be on the street. you do see them -- i don't know what these pictures are showing, we're all looking them at the same time. we are seeing attempts to climb the gate there. >> scale, yes. >> to scale the gate. those fires being set on the
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street, perhaps bad optics but not so troublesome. the fact that they'd be getting on to that gate situation, i'm looking at this with you. that would be troublesome to say the least. it should be the case that they should not be able, that the yemeni forces, should be able to control it and keep them away from that. we're all looking at this at the same time. >> that's the job of the host country, right? the united states has an embassy or facility in the country, it is the job of the host country to keep that facility secure and safe. >> absolutely. >> there are u.s. marines on location as well, often. that's a failure of the yemeni authorities if those protesters get so close, am i right? >> well, that's right. you know, there's been so much discussion about it. let's be clear. any diplomatic installation anywhere in the world operates under the security umbrella of the country it is in.
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it is the responsibility of the host country to provide enough security so that embassy is not at risk from the outside. the marines that guard an embassy are installation inside. they are there to protect the personnel, to protect the classified information. to really sort of be the last line of resort if this kind of trouble breaks out. responsibility of the host country. think of it this way, the yemeni embassy here in washington, d.c., u.s. law enforcement protects it. it protects the street outside. it makes sure if protesters get too close, if there was a protest, they don't risk the embassy. this is what happens all over the world. so let's go back a minute. what you saw yesterday was president obama say he wants to up security at embassies around the world. right now, we know for the last several hours the state
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department, the pentagon, the white house, the national security community, going through the security arrangements at u.s. embassies around the world. >> barbara, if you can hold that thought, we're going to get back to you. we have a reporter who is live right now on the phone. hakeem al masmari. you are there. we are seeing pictures. what can you tell us. >> the security forces do not want this to escalate. as you heard, again, yemen knows if blood falls on the ground this will only get worse. it has not gotten violent as of now. if it does, it will only be for the worse. yemen knows if one is killed in this protest it could escalate. that is why they are using batons and wisdom in dealing with the protesters, though in
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the past many protests at this place were violent over last year or so. >> that's a real careful calculus they have to do here, trying to control the protesters, keep things from escalating out of control. at the same time, shots fired makes things a little bit worse. it's a different situation, you're saying, for the yemeni forces there. what is the mood? why this upswelling of anger against u.s. installations? is this still tied to at least the rumors on the street, of this odd homemade video that is said to insult the prophet? >> all of this is linked to that video itself, nothing else. yemenis know that the u.s. has been behind the anti-terror war. but no protests are placed against the u.s., on deming that this is the first time that such protests are taking place. they know that that video is the beginning of what could be a
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long-term war. they believe anything against the muhammad should not be taken lightly. i'm pretty sure this will not give violence. most of the yemeni protesters are unarmed. as of now, they have no weapons. this is only to express anger and if security forces deal with it wisely, it will not be violence and it will come to anend. >> you said something very important. you don't see anybody who's armed. we see people scaling gates. what are you seeing on the ground there? we see fire. what are you seeing? >> yes. they are trying to climb the gate. that is true. but they are not armed gunmen. in yemen that kind of thing, protesters are trying to express anger or trying to feel their message has been reached. these are not armed, according to all the sources that we talked to and i-witnesses on the
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ground. we believe that's why security forces are trying to deal with them in a wise manner and not shoot at them. if they were arm, security forces would have shot at them directly. >> security forces, cnn's reporting is that security forces have fired shots into the air to try to disperse this crowd. that is according to our reporting on the ground from eyewitnesses who are in that crowd and around that crowd watching it. can you tell me, it has been since october 2000 is when the u.s. "cole" bombing happened in the gulf of aden. this has been a complicated relationship between the united states and yemen. can you tell me about the relationship between these two countries, especially in the wake of arab spring? >> the relationship between yemen and u.s. is very, very powerful and strong the last couple years. it only increased for the better
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this year. the cooperation and coordination between the governments is high, however, the people are not happy of the u.s. policy in yemen. it's changed from the past, u.s. policies were respected in yemen but that slightly changed over the last year or so after the intense policy in yemen. there's anger in the air among the people themselves, especially after the drones killed civilians in the central part of yemen. people are angry and it's not where it was a couple years back. that is why the u.s. is trying to invest more on development and infrastructure projects rather than only focus on the anti-terror war. >> hakeem almasmari, thank you.
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hakeem mentioned something so interesting about the drone surveillance in the middle east. that's something i suspect is only going to increase as america tries to keep an eye on these interests. >> you know, we are now since yesterday, able to report that u.s. drones are flying over eastern libya, for example. trying to collect intelligence, survey targets, see if they can find those responsible for the attacks in libya. this, this has become a root of choice drone to collect the intelligence and then possibly armed drones to strike targets. i want to go back to this video you're showing. this is the main gate of the u.s. embassy in yemen on that busy commercial street in the capital of sanaa. the concern will be as the crowds form, will they disperse, will they go away? i think our report from the street there is quite correct. the yemeni forces don't want to
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see this escalate, so they're doing what they can. this is the main gate on the street. we won't get into a lot of detail but the embassy buildings are behind it and the embassy goes back for some particular distance. this is the main gate on the street. but sanaa is an unsettled city. they have demonstrations, they have a level of violence that's concerning to all. the issue in the coming hours will be, will this disperse -- militant elements in sanaa try and take advantage of this situation? will some of them try and stir up more trouble against the u.s. embassy in the coming hours? this is what the callation is rig right now. disperse this without any violence and can they make the protesters at least for now, disperse or will this grow? we'll just have to monitor it
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and see. >> i think another really important point hakeem made, he didn't see any of the protesters armed. >> well, yes, he's there so his word goes right now. i'm not trying to stir any contradiction up here but the facts are that yemen is a country where almost everyone is armed, even on a regular -- men armed on a regular basis on the streets. if you walk the streets of yemen, you will see many men routinely carrying ak-47s. it is simply what happens in yemen. it is their culture, their way. it is something they've tried to deal with. but arms are prevalent in yemen. that's why i say the concern will be -- not these protesters. but the escalation, the potential for escalation. i'm quite certain the security
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forces want to get this dispersed as quickly as they can. >> using this as a shold for more targeted military investigation. barbara, tell me about the military moves in the region now. the u.s. is reacting to the murder, the assassination of its ambassador to libya. what are the miltry moves in the whole region? >> well, absolutely. president obama yesterday saying judge will be done. you here seeing, perhaps, the pieces being put into place. two u.s. avenue warships moving to the coast of libya. the "uss mcfall," these warships have tomahawk missiles that could -- could -- be used, fired against militant targets if the u.s. determines that they can find the targets that were responsible. the people, the elements, the
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strongholds where the militants may have come from who were responsible for the attacks in benghazi. this basically gives the president options, if you will. we talked about it a minute ago. drones are flying over eastern libya, collecting intelligence, surv surveying on the ground. if they feel they have a credible target they can go after, they can take that to the attacks in benghazi. this will give the president an option he could u use. he could use missiles on armed drones. they could get an indication that the libyans are going after the targets. this puts the polices into place. u.s. navy warships, tomahawk missiles send a particular message, even if those warships don't fire and stay on patrol. >> just to recap here, in sanaa,
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it is the yemeni police who are taking action and trying to stop the protest in a peaceful manner? >> right. the yemenis have an interior ministry of security forces that is quite extensive. over the years one has to say that in the past, there's been a lot of question about the loyalty of those security forces, under the previous president. whether they were sheltering al qaeda in their country and allowing them to operate. but there seems to it be a good deal of progress in those security forces being willing and able to go after al qaeda elements. the u.s. has quite an extensive training program for yemeni forces. they've been training them in counterterrorism and anti-terrorism techniques. which are applicable here. no one's saying these protesters are terrorists but it's the kind of training for the security
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forces to deal with the kind of situation you see unfolding. again, you know, i think it's very clear that the security forces are trying to do what they can to disperse this before it gets out of hand, before it escalates and we see anything resembling what has transpired in cairo or libya. >> to let you know what's going on here, barbara starr is going to stick with us. she's watching these pictures as well. we're see mass protests at the u.s. embassy in london. you can see mennen chatting, starting fires with be throwing rocks. and actually scaling a fence, what barbara says is the front gate of the u.s. facility there in sanaa. you can see the men climbing that gate. security forces are being careful, firing into the air to try to disperse this crowd. there's an affairness that you don't want to see this. right now the u.s. is investigating whether the attack
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at the american consulate in benghazi was planned in advance in libya. at first it was believed that the killing of four americans, including the u.s. ambassador, christopher stevens was carried out by angry mobs protesting a cruel, anti-muslin movie. the date of the attack 9/11 might not be a coincidence. let's get the late est. so we had said at the time and you had pointed out, what was happening in cairo, angry mobs in cairo at the embassy there was less organized and less armed than what we were seeing in libya in benghazi. so now they're trying to figure out if indeed this was a targeted planned association?
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>> absolutely, christine. this is what the united states is looking into and the libyan authorities here are looking into too. the issue here is that we know, there are groups that operate in that part of the country, in eastern libya and in and and the city of benghazi who are radical islamic groups with ties to al qaeda. there are some training camps that are in the eastern city of derna. they arrived in the country this year. libyan authorities have told us in the past they were keeping an eye on these camps. they knew of their existence. they knew these al qaeda figures were in the country but nothing has been done in facing these groups. we have seen attacks that took place over weeks and months back in june. the u.s. consulate was attacked with a bomb that exploded right outside the gate. there. >> reporter: no casualties in that attack. there are a number of other
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tracks claimed by jihadist groups. so of course here, we are hearing from the government yesterday also, senior libyan officials saying that the attack clearly coincided with the september 11th anniversary. they're saying they will not allow libyan land to be used by these groups to carry out what they describe as revenge attacks in the southwest. strong words coming from the libyan government but we have to see what action they will take. >> you have the u.s. military moving a couple carriers closer to the coast. you have more drone surveillance of u.s. facilities. you have a growing country, the u.s. is a budding ally of the united states. but at the same time there has to be an investigation and someone will have to pay for the murder of an american
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ambassador. how careful or concern ready people on ground about more tension between the united states and libya over this? >> absolutely. this is what we heard yesterday, christine, with the news came out. both navy destroyers deploying mora means to protect the embassy here. the reaction was fixed. th we have not heard official reaction from the government here. some saying this government is not doing anything to confront these armed groups that are a tlot, not only to the western interest in libya to the united states, they're also a threat to libyans. we worry about what these groups might do to our country. they want someone confronting these groups and dealing with them, addressing this issue. if their government is unable to do this, they're happy to see the united states do it. but at the same time there are mixed opinions.
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some other people are saying, no, we don't want to see any sort of military intervention. you worry that yemen might be turned into another iraq. >> we're looking at the pictures from. you're seeing the developments right now in yemen. obviously a tense, tense situation there as security forces don't want to inflame already outraged people on the ground but also don't want to have a repeat where you have an american facility that has stormed. you get somebody over the wall there. the way things sort of work out, it's noontime, lunch time in yemen at least. this is during the arab spring when when saw men mostly taking to the streets this is when people were most fired up. you'd see this cycle of outrage that would continue. that was against the government, not against the united states.
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do you expect this will die down. >> reporter: just to be clear are we talking about what's going on in yemen or libya? >> i'm talking about yemen. >> i think what we'll be seeing, this could escalate in yemen and other countries have been used, spread, not many people have heard of this homemade movie before. they had not seen this video. since the reports and the video of the incident in cairo and the protests there, this is leading to some sort of domino effect. a chain reaction, we're seeing more protests in arab capitals, slowly. this could pick up by tomorrow, christine. that is a usual day of protest, following friday prayers in arab world. if we see a reaction by other arab and some countries, you
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could potentially see more escalation in this tomorrow. >> that's what i was worried about. thank you so much. follow twolg things. you have people still outside the embassy in cairo. the pictures you're looking at right now, that's in yemen, sanaa, where it is lunch time there. that's, you know, a very angry crowd descending on the u.s. embassy there. zoraida. let's head over to cairo. please are clashing with protesters in egypt? they're trading tear gas with rocks and molotov cocktails. you are looking at live pictures right now. ian lee is in cairo. can you walk us through what's happening right now? >> if you can look over my shoulder, you'll sea a couple hundred protesters still battling it out with police. you'll see tear gas flying through the air. you're going to see police vehicles charging protesters,
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trying to disperse them. really what we're seeing is a stalemate between the police and protesters, the protesters don't seem to be giving up. this has been an ongoing battle for over eight hours now. the police have cordoned off and pushed the protesters further away from the embassy. tahrir square is full of traffic. if i look further to my right, you have a thunderstormal die in cairo. these protesters that you see, the 200 or so don't have the support of the entire city or country because you're not seeing people come out and join them. you're seeing people go along with their daily lives. the protesters are different than the ones we saw the night of september 11th, the night where the u.s. embassy was breached and they tore down the flag. it's a completely different crowd. that might we saw islamists, we
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saw ultraconservatives, also some young youth. but this crowd out here, these pro-ers have more or less disenfranchised you. this is the similar scene we've seen on a year and a half. >> you make a good point. tahrir square is normally the place you'd see people congregate en masse. when you look at the pictures from the u.s. embassy in yemen, you have to wonder if the situation is escalating. >> that's a good point. we're hearing there are calls for massive demonstrations on friday. the muslim brotherhood, the base of president mohammed morrissey. this really is somewhat, maybe
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the lull before tomorrow, friday, when we see what we're planning on seeing, a lot larger demonstrations coming out against this film that protesters say insult prophet muhammad. >> egypt's president mohammed morrissey. what did he say? >> he condemned the film yesterday on his facebook page. when he mentioned the breaching of the u.s. embassy, he said it was egypt's responsibility to protect diplomatic missions. he did not condemn these protesters for beach breaching the embassy in this new video, he comes out strongly against those who breach the embassy. he said these are not people that represent egyptians or
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muslims. he said that egypt will secure every embassy in egypt. he says the security forces will secure it. that's to be seen. we've seen over the last year many embassies being breached in egypt. police have yet to control a mob from entering the embassy. this is the first real test to see if he can make good. >> a lot of people watching his reaction and his actions. ian lee, thank you very much. we're following breaken news out of yemen, sanaa. were there hundreds of people, of men, right here after lunch time who are protesting in front of the u.s. embassy there. some are scaling the walls of the gatehouse. we have barbara starr, who have been at this facility. we'll be right back with more
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[ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. this is cnn breaking news. again this morning we begin with breaking news. there are protesters at the u.s. embassy in yemen at this hour. you are taking a look at live pictures there. there are men in particular, they're scaling the gates. they have not made it to the other side. we understand yemeni police are firing shots into the air. attempting to end this in a peaceful manner, traying to disperse the crowds there. there are hundreds of protesters outside. so far what we've heard is everything has been peaceful. we go to a reporter who is live on the ground there, hakeem almasmari, who is on the ground in sanaa. >> these protests are not exactly what we expected.
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we expected them to be more violent. these protesters are unharmed. they wanted to express their views and anger. that is what we can see from the pictures, that they were climbing the embassy doors, they'd stop there and chant. according to the numerous eyewitnesses, they are not armed. that's why they didn't shoot directly at the prot testers. they knew they were unarmed and young. any armed gunmen or protesters are seen, they will be stopped immediately and will be shot at. security forces are dealing with this in a wise manner to ensure that it does not escalate. >> hakeem, we are watching right now on the video, there are men that seem to be scaling a gate. are you telling us nobody has
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made it to the other side? >> no. no one has made it inside. those who are inside, there are security forces inside the embassy gate. all those who are criming. all of them are unarmed and not intent to do anything crazy. this could escalate but the interior ministry, none of those protesters are armed. if anyone is seem armed, they will be shot at directly. >> talk to me about what they're chanting, why are they there? >> they are angry at the movie that was made against prophet muhammad. they believed this should not have happened, the u.s. should have fought it or condemned at. today it is only about the movie
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and the anger to express. they are not happy with this. they are chanting that chant saying that only muhammad. they did not want to be a culture. they feel this is a way to express their views. we expect this to diffuse in the next hour or so. >> that's a lot of protesters. do you know approximately how many yemeni police are there as well? >> outside the embassy there are many security forces. according to officials, many security forces were deployed and reinforced inside the br, entering through the rear gate. it's well guarded. we did not expect any situation that would get out of hand. again, over 1,000 security forces -- you know, the embassy
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itself, many were reinforced the embassy making sure that any protesters entered they could be arrests and taken out. >> talk to me about the number of protest ers that are outside the embassy right now. >> it's started at 100. it's reached 2,000 to 3,000 protesters right now. we expect this protest to escalate even tomorrow if it gets violent today. if these protests come out with any blood dripping, it should be a within-day thing. in a country like yemen, that does not sound good. >> we were talking to one of our correspondents at the pentagon just a little while ago. she said it's customary for men to walk around carrying weaponry. is there a concern, that group, that contingency will join the
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crowd? >> there is a possibility. there are a thousand security forces surrounding the u.s. embassy. they are watching for any gunmen, whether from protesters. anyone who is armed and going toward the embassy will be immediately shot at. >> as we're watching the situation that's unfolding in libya, the concern is this kind of escalation will continue to happen at u.s. embassies. >> in yemen, i'll be hornest, this could happen again and again over the next week or so. from where we see it, this is only a one-day thing. in the next hour we expect this to diffuse and come to an end. >> we'll continue to check in
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with you. >> you know the embassy of yemen in washington, d.c. has told us that indeed there has been a breach at the american facility in sanaa. they say now, the yemeni government says it has things under control. what can you tell us? >> that's right, christine. we got a statement moments ago from the yemeni office in washington, condemning any attacks on u.s. pass ills or diplomatic facilities. given recent -- it says that unfortunately angry protesters have flooded the perimeter of the u.s. embassy in sanaa and breached the embassy's walls. security services have quickly been restored. fortunately no kadzuals were
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reported this chaotic incident. it goes on that it will meet its obligation to keep safe u.s. personnel and all the responsibilities of the host government. this is not egypt or yemeni where the security forces, there's a vacuum. even though there's been a problem, i'm sure we'll talk about it throughout the day with al qaeda and militants in the country, this is seen by the united states as someone month has the security in hand. obviously the u.s. has been reaching out throughout the last 48 hours trying to talk to all of its diplomatic facilities but particularly in these type of countries where there's militant activity to make sure the diplomat personnels are secure and those facility are secure. >> they're reviewing security
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procedures, any know that's when we have seen protests both peaceful and not peaceful over the past year an a half. this has been the time of day when this has often flared up. >> yes. a statement was sent out earlier this morning before the statements came out, a warden's message, to american citizens saying we're going to close our american citizens service office for a day. they knew these protests were coming. i think they've been shocked in general over what's happened in the last 48 hours. now they're expecting a lot more of it. they're reaching out to american citizens across these countries to say, we know it's a volatile situation. stay home. >> elle us what your sorgss are saying inside the state department. clearly they're mourning the
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loss of one of their greigs, the ambassador to libya. tell me about what your sources are telling you about preparations they're making there. >> well, i think yesterday everybody was in shock but at the same time, it was kind of good they were able to work throughout all of this, because they really need to deal with the task at hand. i think the u.s. has been shocked in the fact that how this arab spring has taken this ugly turn, i think in their view. the u.s. tried to help these countries, certainly helped overthrew the regime many. sources yesterday told me they felt that this movie that we've been talking about, this so-called homemade american movie was a handy excuse.
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even secretary clinton said yesterday, she was shocked at this anti-american sentiment. i think they're now trying to -- there will be a lot of what you call public diplomacy. they need to up the ante in terms of how can we reach out to the publics around the world to say america is your friend. look at what we've done for you over the past year. you have new leaders, a new future. we want to help you build this country. in yemen, for instance, there's so much economic turmoil. the uss helping with development. the u.s. is helping with so many programs. it's dumbfounded. >> yet one crazy low resolution, unintelligible video posted on facebook could undo american foreign policy. i mean, seeshl media helped the
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arab spring and now it's hurting the moments after the arab autumn, i think. stick around. we're following all of these developments. we'll have you back. >> barbara starr is standing by live at the pentagon. we just heard, barbara, are you there? >> yes, ma'am. >> we just heard right now, i can't see you right now. i was wondering if you were with us. we just heard right now from elise labbit. i know you have been there. i want to show pictures again and talk a little bit about that, the fact that they have breached the area and what does that mean? and how far is it before those protesters could reach anyone in particular? >> well, the pictures we've been showing have been the main gate in sanaa, the yemeni capital.
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this is a fortified area where many security forces control the street. the goal is for them to not let the protesters get to this point. we are seeing them at that main gate. it. >> it's a distance, right. >> yes, walking distance. let's put it that way. it's not miles. there are layers of security inside there. we heard reports earlier. many forces are inside themselves, helping to protect the area. everyone within the found is for thenied and has layers of security around it. i think there's an important point to make here about the sornl media element you brought up. regardless of the ability to
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control this, this is video that will now be moving on social met networks around the world and throughout the arab world. there will be these pictures of protesters being able to scale a gate with the u.s. government emblem at the top of that gate. protesters zeting to that point. as these victims are seen around the world, what will be the esnction? will this give people who want to cause trouble that momentum to get involved in protest, perhaps against u.s. installing as? these things have a very -- have a real way of growing through the social media. so that's going to be part of the concern. it's not just controlling what is happening right now. on streets of yemen, it's what could be coming next. >> there's been a lot of
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criticism of the lack of at the u.s. embassy in benghazi. i know the host country is responsible for security there. how is the united states responding to assists at the u.s. embassies and if those countries? >> right. well, you know, the president ordered increased security. now the state department, pentagon, national security council, all the elements there, looking at what else needs to be done and certainly going back to these host country and saying it is your responsibility to maintain security out on the street. as we talked about here in washington, d.c., you know, dozens and dozens of countries have their embassies across washington. and here in the streets of washington, it is the
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responsibility of ununiform forces, the fbi. u.s. law enforcement is out on the streets here in washington protecting embassies around the clock. the u.s. wants to make sure that is returned around the world. meantime in cairo, the president made an address. what did he say? >> this is something that the u.s. had been waiting for. >> yes. >> to see him step out on this. i do not have the text of what he came out and said. but it was the symbol of they wanted to see him talk about this. it was important to see the egyptian leader put his face, his names and his wards are to
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what happened. >> we have a statement of the president. the presidency condemns in the strongest terms the attempt of a group to insult the place of the messenger, the prophet muhammad and condemns the people who have produced their work. the egyptian people, both muslims and christians, refuse such insults on sanctities. >> that was the original statement released on facebook. a lot of people hoping the president steps up and issues a condemnation for what happened. >> that's right. they want to see his name -- the u.s. by all accounts wants to see him put his name and face to that. it is going to be very important for the egyptian leader, president morsi be willing to put his name and face to this. i don't think anyone at this
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moment supports this alleged movie if you will. everyone agrees this is terribly problematic. the question for the egyptian leader is to condemn the violence again the u.s. democrat and demonstrate that egyptian security forces are willing. they're able and willing to do that. >> stand by. we will be checking back in with barbara starr. in the meantime, we'll take a quick break and we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] whether it's kevin's smartphone... mom's smartphone... dad's tablet... or lauren's smartphone... at&t has a plan built to help make families' lives easier. introducing at&t mobile share. one plan lets you share data on up to 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. add a tablet for only $10 per month.
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this is cnn breaking news. breaking news this morning in sanaa. this is the u.s. facility, the u.s. embassy in yemen, in yemen's capital. you can see tape of men scaling the outer walls of the gatehouse of the u.s. embassy facility, the yemeni government confirming there's been a breach there but now the situation, they say, is under control. we know that security forces, yemeni security forces, fired shots into the air to disperse this crowd. but we're told from our reporters and other reporters in the region that they're being quite careful about not inciting this crowd any further. we're told by the yemeni government they do have things under control. security forces are on high
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alert around the region after those big, big protests yesterday that results quite frankly in the death, the assassination of the american ambassador to libya, zoraida. >> let's head over to cairo. we have live pictures outside the u.s. embassy as well. riot police are clashing with protesters there, trading tear gas with rocks and molotov cocktails right outside the u.s. embassy. of course you know this all started yesterday. it was quite an intense situation there, burning of the flag, a lot of protesters. we talked to ian lee, our reporter on the ground there, saying the situation is different today than yesterday. far more peaceful and calmer. he made an interesting point, it has not moved into tahrir square, which is normally where you see big protests happening. it's not to say we know what's going to happen, whether this will be incited further. president mohammed morsi had a press conference. this is what he said.
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let me condemn in the most clear terms on the attacks that caused the four people in benghazi, namely the american ambassador. there can be no justification for violence and loss of innocent lives. we call on the libyan authorities to take all necessary measure to ensure such events do not recur and, of course, protect the diplomatic missions. did he come out with a condemnation. a lot of americans were hoping to hear something. maybe a little bit more about what happened there in egypt, in cairo, in particular at the u.s. embassy there. perhaps even the lack of security there when this initially started. >> we should point out also, this is just after noontime prayers. you recall during arab spring, this was this time of day men would gather in the street and this is when rumors and outrage and anger against their own governments would often percolate. now that rumor, that outrage, that anger seems to be percolating against the united states. we'll continue to follow all of
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this. we're watching benghazi, libya and the latest in cairo. u.s. officials suspect the attack that killed america's ambassador to libya was planned in advance. at first it was believed this killing of four americans at the u.s. consulate in benghazi was carried out by angry mobs, protesting an anti-islam home video. but u.s. officials believe the attackers may have used those protesters as a diversion for an assassination. >> the number of west nile cases has jumped 35%, this is just in the past week. federal health officials say the worst of the mosquito-borne epidemic may be over. this year's outbreak of west nile virus is the deadliest ever on record. more than 2,600 cases have been reported to the cdc this year and that includes 118 deaths. for the first time since being tasked to be mitt romney's running mate, congressman paul ryan will be on capitol hill today, voting 0en a six-month spending bill that funds the federal government through march
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at a cost of just over $1 trillion. this measure was negotiated by both parties this summer and it is expected to pass. former nfl star chad johnson faces up to a year in jail after being formally charged with domestic battery in florida. johnson was arrested last month after his wife of just over a month, accused him of headbutting here during an argument. the miami dolphins cut johnson the day after the arrest. new york mayor michael bloomberg's proposed ban on the sale of super sized sugary drinks may ab proved today. the city's board of health is scheduled to vote on this plan. it calls for a 16 ounce limit on sodas and other sugary beverages sold at restaurants, delis and even movie theaters. preorder start tomorrow on the new iphone 5. are you excited? >> i'm kind of apple'd out. >> it's gotten taller and lost some weight.
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it has a larger 4 inch screen and will be able to run on 4g wireless networks. there's new mapping with turn-by-turn directions for you. siri is apparently a little smarter and it also has a new connector. all your accessories have officially been declared obsolete. there will be an adapter available. it's going to cost you 30 bucks. we're not getting too far from the breaking news in yemen. hundreds of protesters outside the u.s. embassy in sanaa. we have a live report from the region after a quick break. stay with us. when this hotel added aflac to provide a better benefits package... oahhh! [ male announcer ] it made a big splash with the employees. [ duck yelling ] [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] ...forbusiness.com. ♪ ha ha! nature valley trail mix bars are made with real ingredients you can see. like whole roasted nuts, chewy granola, and real fruit. nature valley trail mix bars. 100% natural.
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this is cnn breaking news.
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welcome back to "early start." we begin this morning with breaking news. we take you to yemen. these are pictures of a protest that is happening at the u.s. embassy in yemen. that is a group that has stormed the u.s. embassy there. the u.s. embassy in yemen, though, however, releasing a statement saying they have this situation under control. we have a reporter we have a reporter there on the ground who has been covering this for us. he is a local reporter there. hakim, are you there? >> reporter: yes, i'm here. >> hakim is covering this for us. what can you tell us? >> the protests are, right now they're less than what they were an hour ago, but they're trying -- the this could have went way, way out of hand if forces shot directly at protesters, because there are hundreds of protests -- of security forces near the area, now over a thousand. so security forces knew that if
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this got violent, this would only get worse and this would escalate. so as of right now, these protests are diffusing. many of the protesters feel that their message was well sent and was received. so they are now leaving the embassy. >> hakim, when we talked to you earlier, they were firing shots into the air to try to discourage the protesters from being there. you're saying that that has worked. how many protesters are you seeing there now. >> there are hundreds of protesters. and i'm not saying they are only protesting, their burning cars, burning tirie intires. but this is all to take out the anger that they have. there are protesters on videos. these protesters are gunman. the interior ministry has issued
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direct orders that anyone seen near the embassy, armed and/or has weapons, should be shot at directly. that is why the security forces at the embassy are not acting with force, because they know that they are unarmed. >> we're hearing a lot of chanting, a lot of yelling. what are they saying? >> they are chanting and saying, anyone the prophet muhammad, why degrade muhammad when we do not degrade jesus. it's to show why they believe the american people are behind the movie that was made, the homemade movie, and they are expressing their anger, and showing why is muhammad being attacked by the american people while the lebanese or the muslim are not attacking their prophet, jesus. so it's for religious rather than cultural or foreign policy.
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>> hakim, let me ask you something. do you think the people there have seen this video, or are there the rumors of it that are causing all of this anger? because we have watched a 14-minute trailer for one of the films from this producer, and i've got to tell you, it's kind of unintelligible. it's kind of low quality and it's a very homemade kind of -- it's not representative of what the american people think about the prophet or the religion. >> exactly. ty i agree with you completely, but they're living in a place that's very undeveloped, but as soon as they hear a video or movie made in the u.s., it immediately comes to their mind from hollywood. so, yes, you are right, completely right, that this is not what yemnese believe. the very few chance they have of
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the knowledge of the media or who stands behind the movie. but what they know is that the u.s. are behind the movie, then sources reported that that two americans were behind the funding of this movie, this $5 million movie, and over a 100 of the u.s. americans -- so they are trying to make or rf, waiting for the u.s. government or u.s. to condemn this movie or not stand behind it. when they did not hear that, they started protesting and coming near the embassy. >> that's interesting. they're waiting for u.s. condemnation of the movie. hakim, stand by. we'll continue checking in with you. thank you for your reporting this morning. we really appreciate it. >> it really is that cultural difference that we were talking about. >> it is. >> you know, we see that movie and roll our eyes. just rumors of that movie on the arab street is something that is causing protests.
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>> after watching it, i can say, though, it is insulting, right? at the end of the day, it is insulting. it is a poorly made american and certainly not the way that americans think, but when you don't know any better. >> i should say noontime prayers, friday prayers tomorrow, and clearly all american facilities are bracing for that. four minutes past the hour here. planned or not, the consulate attack has raised concerns about security for u.s. diplomats. within hours of yesterday's deadly attack in libya, president obama ordered tighter security for personnel there and for other diplomatic outposts around the world. >> foreign affairs correspondent elise at the state department right now. new information about the investigation? >> yes. yesterday the state department kind of went through a little bit more of a timeline of what they think happened and how these gunman breached the consulate walls, and then very excruciating detail about the last -- it was about a four-hour kind of ordeal, but it sounds as
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if these gunman breached the embassy, the consulate walls within 15 minutes. and then there was a lot of smoke and and fire in terms of throwing rpgs, these rocket-propelled grenades into the consulate walls. chris stevens, the u.s. ambassador, was in the complex, trying to get out. he was with another gentleman, sean smith, who we learned about yesterday, also died in the attack. and really horrible detail about how chris stevens got separated, the ambassador got separated from the group, trying to make his way out, and was found actually by the libyans, who took him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. so today a lot of talk about how this could have happened, not just why it happened, but how security was breached at the consulate, and the u.s., what's going on right now, zoraida, all u.s. embassies, all diplomatic
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facilities having what they call these emergency committees, where they review the security, what more can be done, what more can be done with those host governments to make sure that u.s. facilities are protected. and you can bet that yesterday yemen was one of those embassies where they were looking for enhanced security procedures, not just with u.s. security, but with the host government. u.s. embassy in sanaa sending out a statement this morning, warning americans the stay home, because they knew these protests were coming. >> and you talk about, christine, you talk about just the security being reviewed at all of these facilities. and this morning we have news that university students have stormed the -- or gathered, rather, gathered in front of the swiss embassy in tehran to protest this film that now people are so upset about. this is according to iran's semi-official news agency. and you know, the swiss agency represents american interests in that country as well. so that's sort of the latest in all of this.
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>> that's right. and obviously, the swiss embassy, the swiss had nothing to do with this movie. and because they represent the u.s. interests, it just goes to what zoraida and you were talking about, just moments ago. these cultural attitudes and this kind of lack of knowledge of what goes on. it just feeds into those stereotypes that americans don't like muslims, that americans have it in for all muslims and arabs in the region, and i think the u.s. is looking at right now how it can better educate people in these publics, where education about u.s. is not really taught in a lot of these schools. they're taught to hate the united states. but if you are in the united states, you know that there are a lot of muslims here in the united states, and certainly they don't, as you said, look at the prophet muhammad that way. so to go in front of the swiss embassy just shows that they really don't understand how this is working and what's going on. >> all right. elise labatt, thank you so much, elise. we'll check back with you shortly. >> barbara starr is standing by
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live at the pentagon. i want to stay with this cultural discussion, barbara. because i think this is really at the heart of the matter. it's this movie that has caused a lot of commotion now. we are students that are going and protesting as well. when we stalktalked to the repo that's on the ground, he said that it's a group of young kids that are there, that are very ignorant about what they see. so when they see something like this, this movie, they assume that it's a hollywood-made movie, and so then americans clearly support it, and they're waiting for some sort of a condemnation from the united states on this particular movie. >> well, i think that's certainly a point of view out there. and you have seen the administration, you have seen any number of people condemn this, this film. i think that there's been another important voice added to it. i understand we now have some sound from the egyptian leader, president mohammed morsi, also weighing in.
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let's listen to that for a moment. >> let me condemn, in the most clear terms, the attacks on the united states diplomatic installation that have caused the deaths of four people in benghazi, namely the american ambassador. there can be no justification for violence and for the loss of innocent lives. we call on the libyan authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure such events not reoccur. and of course, to protect the diplomatic missions. >> all right. now, you know, what we are also seeing, however, besides the just basic facts of the film, i think there is probably a much deeper issue emerging here. and that is social media. the issue is, how this, you know, most of these people haven't seen this movie. so what happens is, they may see youtube clips of it, may see elements of it on social media, word spreads on social media, they see the videos of these protests around the world. the concern, of course, now,
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afghanistan. this will be the next place, either by video, social media, word of mouth, at mosques, that the word begins to spread about this, and there could be additional violence. this may be one of the most significant issues for traditional u.s. diplomacy to deal with. how do you deal with social media? how do you deal with the basic facts that these kinds of films and elements get out and move around the world instantly? it is out there before anybody can even react to it. >> no, you're absolutely right. as a matter of fact, the muslim brotherhood on facebook has told the protesters, go to the u.s. embassy in cairo and protest. so when you have organizations like that, in egypt, the muslim brotherhood saying, hey, we are encouraging you to do this. it can cause an escalating effect, across the region. >> it can do that. and this is something that the u.s. has struggled with fundamentally in the war on terror, as it emerged after
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9/11. for years now, the taliban, al qaeda. look, osama bin laden came out on videos, didn't he? videos that started appearing. he's in hiding for years, and he can still get his message out for so many years, on video, on tape, on internet websites, that people can log into. this is something that the u.s. has struggled to deal with. how do they get the word out? the u.s. government always in these situations a bit behind, because, of course, the united states governments around the world having that obligation to look and search for the truth and be able to report facts, to be able to report the facts about what happened in benghazi. they can't go out there with just, you know, a youtube video on a whim. so governments have a different responsibility than these groups appear to have, and that is one of the big problems. things move instantly around the
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world. how do you deal with it? >> that's right, you can mobilize movements through the internet these days, good and bad. barbara starr live at fthe pentagon for us, thank you so much. >> and resetting where you are, we're watching developments in yemen, where after noontime prayers, men started to gathered and actually stormed the front gatehouse of the american embassy there, actually getting on top of a wall, and it looked like they were trying to crawl over the top of a fence. the yemeni government saying, yes, there was a breach. these protesters did breach. they've been turningov over car. burning the american flag, burning tires. we're told there may have been some molotov cocktails, and security forces fired into the air, now we're told by the yemeni government that they, indeed, have this situation, at least nfor now, under control. these are mass protests at the american embassy in yemen and the government is reporting that the situation is under control
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now. we're live in libya and cairo where developments a still unfolding. that's right after the break. humans -- even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why, at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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have more fiber than other leading brands. they're the better way to enjoy your fiber. we want to focus in on libya right now, where of course the american ambassador to libya was killed yesterday, ambassador chris stevens, assassinated at the u.s. mission in benghazi. in tripoli right now, we have jomana, a cnn reporter/producer there. and she has been following this story over the past 48 hours. what is the latest now about what the american and also the libyan response has been to this attack on the u.s. consulate in
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benghazi, jomana? >> well, christine, the libyan government here, libyan authorities have beefed up securities around the different foreign missions here in tripoli and in benghazi. this morning, driving around the streets in tripoli, i did notice an increased security presence around some even government buildings, government installations here in the capital. we're also reporting and we've heard from the united states that two navy destroyers are equipped with tomahawk missiles have been moved off the coast of -- are moving off the coast of libya. and, of course, drones that will be operating in the -- in libya, to try and track down these militant cells that were responsible for this attack. it does seem that the initial reports that we were receiving, that this was a protest over that video and film does not seem to be the case. more and more indications are
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surfacing that this was actually a preplanned attack, carried out by extremist groups that are operating in the eastern part of the country. >> jomana, what do we know about those militant groups? because there are angry, unruly mobs fired up about rumors of this video online. and then there are well-armed militant groups with clear goals to try to strike western interests. and they have been at work for some time in benghazi. >> reporter: yes. over recent months, christine, we have seen, especially back in june, we've seen a step up in attacks, taking place in the eastern city of benghazi, bay radical groups, militant groups that are affiliated with al qaeda, that are operating in the eastern part of the country. we saw them detonate a bomb outside the u.s. consulate in benghazi, attacks on the british ambassador's convoy in benghazi
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in june, and other attacks. it does seem that this might be a continuation of these attacks against foreign interests in libya. yesterday, we heard from the country's president, telling a press conference that libya will not allow its land to be used by groups to carry out what he described as revenge attacks is against the west by these groups. >> it must be, honestly, to be in libya and have gone through the arab spring and now see this new libya, this new libya as the late ambassador called it, it must be a very new moment here, now that you see that it's a very, a very negative connotation to what's happening, the relationship between the u.s. and libya right now. >> reporter: absolutely, christine. what happened on tuesday was a great blow for the new libya. the country has been trying to get back on its feet, get its economy up and run aganing agai
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after decades of moammar gadhafi rule, and a year of turbulence, trying to get back and recover from this revolution. and as we saw some movement with foreign companies starting to return, businesses starting to pick up again here in libya, this was a great blow. now we are seeing reports of evacuations, of nongovernmental organizations, western ones, leaving the country for concern. so definitely a big blow for the new libya. >> clearly a country that wants investment in its infrastructure, investment in its oil industry, and the like, and has been courting western businesspeople. now, it's been almost ooh year since moammar gadhafi was killed. all right, jomana, thank you. >> and let's head over now live to cairo, egypt, where the protests continue outside the u.s. embassy there. there's tear gas, molotov cocktails. our ian lee is there. and could you bring us up to speed on the very latest? the last time we were there, there were a lot of protesters, a lot of flag burning.
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what's the situation now? >> reporter: well, zoraida, what's going on right now is if you look behind me, you can see roughly about 200 protesters squaring off with police, about 100 yards away from the u.s. embassy. and what we're seeing here really is a battle of attrition. on one side, you have the police, on the other, the protesters. this battle has been raging for about 12 hours now. neither side really committed to taking on the other and trying to finish this. the police have a perimeter set around the embassy. they're not pushing too far outside that perimeter, and the protesters are able to regroup and retry. the protesters seem determined, but they do not have the numbers, really, to break the police cordon, to go to the embassy. really what we're seeing is a battle between protesters and police. >> how are the egyptian people feeling about this? >> reporter: well, that's -- i
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think what the real big telling sign here is that there are only 200 protesters in this crowd. and i don't know if you can sigh behi behind me, but tahrir square is full of traffic. if i look out further to my right, i see streets of cairo going on with their daily business. it doesn't seem like egyptians are caught up in what is going on on the street. and it really is basically one city block where you have, you know -- and it's heavy clashes. there's a lot of tear gas, they're throwing rocks. protesters have molotov cocktails. police, when they catch people, we're seeing police beat the captured prisoners. so it really is an intense battle, but it is only on one city block. and if you go a couple city blocks in either direction, you're really going to see life going on as usual. so it really doesn't seem like the egyptian people are too caught up in this current demonstration. i say that, though, but tomorrow
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there are calls for mass demonstrations by the muslim brotherhood to denounce the film that defames islam. they're calling for people to gather around the mosques, demonstrate at the mosques, and they're calling for peaceful protests. they're telling people to stay clear of the u.s. embassy. zoraida? >> it's always difficult to be able to make those protests peaceful. in the meantime, president morsi did have a press conference this morning. did he address any of this at all? >> reporter: he did. and this is the one thing that is kind of 180-degree switch. yesterday, he released a statement on facebook, and he didn't have harsh condemnation for the protesters who entered the embassy. he said that it was egypt's responsibility to protect the embassy, just stating the obvious, but not really coming out against the protesters. he changed his tone with this new statement, harshly condemning those who broke into the embassy, saying that these are not egyptians, they are not
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part of egypt or islam. he also said that are he will protect the u.s. embassy and what we're seeing today, we're seeing the police pushing the protesters away. so far, he's making good on his promise that he will protect embassies in egypt. >> and all the pictures that we have been showing this morning have been live pictures from the area. you know, sometimes we lose a shot there for a minute, but it comes back there. so we're seeing a lot of smoke. i'm assuming there's a lot of tear gas in the area. let's talk a little bit about the muslim brotherhood and their call to action. because we've talked about social media and the role that it is playing here. the question is whether or not most of the people who are protesting have even seen this film that they're protesting about. and the impact that it could have. so is the muslim brotherhood reaching out via social media? >> reporter: well, they are definitely trying to galvanize people for the protests tomorrow. and even if you look at mohammed
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morsi's statements, he reserved his harshest condemnation for the film itself, and said that this is something that they are very much against. so, you know, they are reaching out to have a larger protest tomorrow, and, you know, this is something that the muslim brotherhood, we're not surprised, are shying away from. this is something that they find offensive and they're going to let their voices be heard. so we're expecting large numbers tomorrow for the protests. >> all right. ian lea ian lee live in cairo, thank you. u.s. officials suspect the attack that killed u.s. ambassador's to libya was planned in advance. at first it was believed the killing of four americans at the u.s. consulate in benghazi was carried out by angry mobs protesting this anti-islam movie, but u.s. officials believe the attackers may have used those protesters has a diversion for a planned assassination. the number of west nile cases has jumped 35%, this just in the past week. but federal health officials say
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the worst to have the mosquito-born epidemic may be over. this year's outbreak of west nile virus is the deadliest ever on record. more than 2,600 cases have been reported to the cdc this year, and that includes 118 deaths. new york mayor michael bloomberg proposed ban on the sale of supersized sugary drinks, it could be approved today. the city's board of health is scheduled to vote on this plan. it's expected to pass, folks. it calls for a 16-ounce limit on sodas and other sugary drinks sold at restaurants, delis, and movie theaters. if approved, it takes effect in march. apple the lifting the curtain on the new phone. this happened yesterday. it's gotten taller, it's lost weight, a larger 4-inch screen, a thinner design, and will be able to run on superfast 4g lte networks. siri got a little smarter. it also has new connectors, so all your accessories have officially been declared
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obsolete. >> oh, yeah. >> so you get to spend more money, though, there'll be a new adapter available for 30 bucks. we're not going very far from what's happening in the middle east this morning. we'll in libya, in cairo, we'll have the latest after this break. change engineering in dubai, aluminum production in south africa, and the aerospace industry in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 70% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. ♪ ♪ ♪
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we begin with breaking news
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this morning. we're taking you to the u.s. embassy in yemen, where protesters have stormed the embassy there. the u.s. embassy, though, is saying that they have that situation under control. there were thousands of protesters outside. there is a heavy security force presence as well that has dissipated some of the situation there. we have a reporter on the ground there are, hakim al mazhari and he has the very latest for us. >> the protests are, right now they're less than what they were an hour ago. so they're trying, they're almost -- the street forces have succeeded in easing the tension. because this sort of went way, way out of hand, as security forces shot directly at protesters, because there are hundreds of protest -- of security forces near the area, easily now over a thousand. so security forces knew that if this got violent, this could only get worse, and this protest would escalate and take place on a daily basis. as of right now, these protests
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are diffusing. many of the protesters feel that their message was well sent and it was received, so they are now leaving the embassy. still hundreds are there. >> hakim, when we talked to you earlier, they were firing shots into the air in order to try to discourage the protesters from being there. you're saying that that has worked. how many protesters are you seeing there now? >> reporter: again, there are hundreds of protesters. and i'm not saying that they're only protesters. they are burning cars, burning tires, climbing the embassy wall, burning the u.s. flag. but all of this -- the anger that they have. there are these photos of videos as the protesters armed as gunman. the interior ministry has ordered direct orders that anyone seen near the embassy
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armed or has weapons should be shot at directly. that is why the security forces at the embassy are not asking with force, because they know that they are unarmed and they are given the orders to shoot anyone who is armed. >> that's in yemen. let's go to the state department right now -- or the pentagon, where barbara starr is for us. she's been following this for the past couple of days. barbara, i want to start with the response from the egyptian president, mohammed morsi, the islamist egyptian president. he has said that these are unlawful acts in cairo and they will not allow any longer anymore violence on american installations in cairo. he's in brussels, as a matter of fact, right now. what can you tell us about the response in egypt about the violence there? >> well, actually, people have been waiting for the last couple of days for egyptian president mohammed morsi to actually come out in public. he had one initial statement, but to come out in front of a camera with his face, his voice, and talk about all of this. let's listen. [ speaking foreign language ]
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>> translator: we assured president obama that we will be keen and we will not permit any such event, any such occurrence in our country against the embassies in our territories. we will cooperate with the european union, with the other countries, with the american administration in order to prevent such events in the future. >> so, not yet, at least in that sound bite, an outright conde condemnation of those involved, but saying that the egyptian security forces will control the situation, they won't allow this to happen again. we have seen more violence at protests at the american embassy, but this is the kind of thing that the u.s. is hoping leaders around the world come out when violence occurs at u.s. embassies. they need to see local forces and see those host governments
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come out in public and condemn it. >> and you're seeing on your screen right now, pictures from cairo about the crowds gathering there after noontime prayers. we're also watching what's happening in yem sn and what's happening in libya as well. so there are three different sort of fronts here that american officials are confronting. and there are also students, we're told, the semi-official iranian news agency is saying that students are gathering in front of the swiss embassy in tehran, which is another sort of representative of american interests. so tell me, barbara, in response to all of these different issues, what is the american military maneuver looking like right now? >> well, mainly in libya, and it is a response, it is a presence, but it is very controlled. 50 marines at the u.s. embassy in tripoli. they are there to provide internal security only, nothing else to assist the embassy, to assist american citizens. two navy warships, however, now sailing off, towards the coast
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of libya. these are equipped with tomahawk missiles. that will give president obama, make no mistake, a military option should he choose it, to strike targets in libya, if they can determine if they can collect enough precise intelligence to determine there is a target, where there may be people or an encampment or a stronghold responsible for the attacks in benghazi that results in the death of the ambassador and others. the president said yesterday, justice will be done. this is now an option that he has on the table. i want to throw in something else here, though. i mean, we are seeing these protests. make no mistake, they are violent. there have been deaths. this has been a tragedy in libya for the u.s. mission, and there is great concern about what is happening in these other capitals, in these other cities. but also, let's remember, within all of these countries, hundreds of thousands, millions of people living very peacefully, not coming to the embassies, not
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protesting activists acting very peacefully against their governments, perhaps, through social media. there is violence happening. there is action in front of television cameras. but a lot of people living in these countries, trying to make their way, day by day. >> especially in libya, where they want a new libya. it hasn't even been a year since gadhafi was killed. you know, this was -- this really is a new day, and you're right, i can assume that there are a lot of families who are watching what's happening, and they too are worried about militants and unruly mobs as well. >> absolutely. >> okay. barbara star, thanks. >> reporter: and as this all began, as we're get to know, u.s. ambassador to libya who was killed, chris stevens, there's somebody who knows him really well. his name is harvey morris. he's a journalist, a friend of the ambassador chris stevens. you knew him for quite some time. you last saw ambassador stevens at a dinner in october of 2011. what went through your mind when you heard that he was killed?
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>> well, it was just very hard to grasp, because he was so optimistic about the job he was going to take up. in fact, when i last saw him in autumn last year, he was slightly concerned he wouldn't get his congressional approval. it seemed a formality, but anyway, he was worried about anything that might upset his plans to go to libya. he went there, he was very optimistic. he said it was great to be an american there, because the people so welcomed, maybe the country, to our perceptions, and they welcomed the president and the americans and yaeuropeans after the fall of moammar gadhafi and he was very upbeat about the whole experience. >> he seemed to love the libyans very much. >> for sure. i mean, he spent a lot of time in the middle east. he worked for the peace corps in morocco, first of all. then he spent a lot of time in
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jun jerusalem. previously, he was in libya when gadhafi was still in power. >> i want to read something to you. about two months ago, he sent out an e-mail to you and to a lot of other friends, describing his return to libya. he had just hosted a july 4th reception at the embassy in tripoli. and here's part of what he wrote. "the whole atmosphere has changed for the better. people smile more and are much more open with foreigners, americans, french, and british are enjoying unusual popularity. let's hope it lasts. all in all, it's great to be back, especially in the new libya, as people here are saying." that optimism, is it heartbreaking to you in retrospect? >> well, it is, but i think we always have to remember that, you know, we're talking about tiny minorities of people who try and disrupt a process that they don't like, for whatever reason. and i mean, a lot of the reaction in the arab world today
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has been that, you know, there are two sets of extremists here. there are the people who produced the film, obviously a provocation, and the people who responded the to violently. and you've been covering this morning events in cairo, where we're talking about maybe 200 demonstrators, and some of those, it appears to be from reports from egypt, are, in fact, local soccer hooligans. so we mustn't get the idea on either side that these extremists in any way represent either what america stands for or what the new regimes in the middle east stand for. >> what do you think his reaction would have been to all of this? >> i'm sorry, could you just repeat that? >> his reaction. you knew him well. what do you think his reaction would have been to all of this, and what do you think he would have wanted us to take away from this situation? >> you know, he obviously would
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have been deeply distressed by what's happened. i think, knowing him as i did, he would have said, just cool it. let's stand back. let's not make any dramatic statements. don't let's make any dramatic demands on the other side to make statements. you know, this is something where we want to cool the atmosphere, rather than say anything that might heat it any more. he was a very conciliatory person and he was quite spoken and i think that would be the advice that he would be giving. >> what made him dedicate so much of his life to the people in libya, do you think? >> i think what happened was, you know, he first fell in love with the region when he went to morocco and he taught english up in the mountains as a peace corps volunteer. and i suppose having to go to libya while it was still under the regime of moammar gadhafi,
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he must have seen the bad side of that regime, he must have seen why the libyan people wanted to replace the regime. and so it must have been fantastic for him to go back afterwards, having actually been involved with the opposition, liaisoning on behalf of washington, and see that people were a lot happier afterwards than they had been when he first met them. >> i want to end on a positive note here. by what we're reading, he seemed to have had a really playful side. at that july 4th party, the staff found a libyan band that specialized in '80s soft rock, and when he left syria, he insisted that his party actually be held at a disco. so he was a fun guy. >> he was a very fun guy. he was a great host, a great party giver. he had a vast circle of friends that way went outside the diplomatic community and a lot of people are going to miss him, particularly in the arab world. >> harvey morris, journalist, friend of the late embarraambas
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chris stevens, thank you so much. we'll take a quick break and when we come back, we'll be talking to ambassador nicholas burns, professional of international relations at harvard, an old middle east hand. we'll get his perspective right after this break. [ male announcer ] the 2013 smart comes with 8 airbags, a crash management system and the world's only tridion safety cell which can withstand over three and a half tons. small in size. big on safety. like a squirrel stashes nuts, you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec® liquid gels. nothing starts working faster than zyrtec® at relieving your allergy symptoms for 24 hours. zyrtec®. love the air. [ male announcer ] gly nimble, ridiculously agile, tight turning, fun to drive 2013 smart.
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welcome back. we're following developments right now, excuse me. on the left side of your screen, you're seeing video from yemen, outside of the u.s. embassy there, where we saw protesters gather. at its peak, 2,000 protesters gathered and actually climbed the outside gate and the wall to the gatehouse of the american embassy. we are told by the yemeni government that that situation is now under control. at one point, you had yemeni security forces firing shots into the air to try to disperse this crowd. >> about a thousand of them in the crowd there. and on the right-hand side of your screen, what you're taking a look at there, is cairo, egypt, right outside the embassy. the protests are continuing there. see all that smoke? there is a lot of tear gas that's being used there. the military is handling this situation aggressively, according to ian lee, who is on the ground there. he actually used the word, beating back the protesters. so they are aggressively handling that situation outside
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the u.s. embassy in cairo. >> let's bring in ambassador nicholas burns, a former u.s. ambassador to nato, also professor of international relations at harvard university and someone who knows the middle east very, very well. what do you make now of the escalation or the spread of this unrest and fury to the u.s. in yemen? >> it's a timing throughout the middle east. what we appear to be seeing in yemen are relatively new governments that are under forces from reactionary forces. the arab revolutions that began more than 18 months ago are still continuing and there are battles within these countries, there are political, there are social battles for the future of libya and of egypt and yemen. and you see these governments reacting to try to maintain their position, fend off these conservative forces, and unfortunately, the united states has ended up in the middle of this. that's not our fault, but we'll have to deal with that in protecting our embassies as the
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administration is trying to do this week. >> trying to protect our embassies, and also, there's financial support that the united states has given to some of these countries for many, many years. and now you've got a group of house conservatives calling for foreign aid in libya and egypt to be stripped from a six-month federal spending bill that's going to be voted on today. is it the right thing to do to send the message for the assassination of an american ambassador to pull back money of region? >> well, the united states obviously has reason to be outraged by what happened to our ambassador, chris stevens, in libya, and also outraged by the fact that the egyptian government, in my view, just sitting here watching this, did not do enough yesterday to quell the demonstrators. and we haven't seen from president mohammed morsi in egypt the kind of outright condemnation that's very important. so i actually think rather than threaten -- rather than to actually withdraw the aid right now, our focus should be on getting these arab leaders to stand up, be accountable in their own societies with, and be responsible for law skpoerd.
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but we have to be somewhat cool about this. we'll have to let the dust settle to see where these countries are. yesterday we saw a very strong statement of apology to the american people, the american government, from the libyan government. so obviously it wouldn't make sense right now to withdraw american aid. it's in our interests to see libya succeed, and see it become, if it's possible, a democratic country. and i also think in that respect about being cool, we should refrain from injecting politics, our own politics, of the presidential campaign into what is a very difficult situation for the united states. and in that regard, i was dismayed to see governor romney essentially, unfairly attack, and incorrectly, the administration the other day. i think it's time for americans to stand together and i hope governor romney would stand with the administration. >> you're talking about the complicated politics in each of these countries and the complicated politics in the united states. and at the same time, there has to be justice. i mean, an american ambassador was killed. so the united states government, how do you propose they go forward here? they need to hunt down and find out who did this and bring them
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to justice. but that's not necessarily an attack or retaliation against the country of libya, but the perpetrators that did this? >> i think that's a distinction we have to make. president obama was very clear yesterday in his statement, justice will be done. that could arrive in two ways. the libyan authorities could track down the terrorist group that attacked our consulate in benghazi, responsible for the death of ambassador stevens, and bring them to justice, or the united states could do that through its military power. either way, we have got to make sure that the people who attacked our consulate are held responsible and are prosecuted for it and that's obviously the obligation that our government has and the libyan government has. that's exactly the right way to look at it. but on the other hand, we've got to understand that this terrorist group that attacked the consulate represents a very small percentage of the libyan people. and the cruel irony here is that the united states is very popular in libya. the libyan people, by and large, very much respect the fact that we helped them overflthrow moamr
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gadhafi in 2011. so we've got to be cool about this, got to have some perspective about it, but obviously stand up for american values and american interests. >> ambassador nicholas burns, thank you so much, sir. >> thank you. let's head over to elise labatt, she's in our d.c. bureau. and i know you've been listening to this conversation and you wanted to weigh in on it. >> yeah, zoraida, i think it's very significant that ambassador burns sort of mentioned that politics shouldn't be injected into this. nick burns is a long career democrat that hd served both administration, but i think the fact that he has singled out the sort of negative political bickering that went on yesterday in the face of four americans being killed, particularly a top diplomat like chris stevens, is very significant in terms of that all americans really now need to come together and face what's clearly a very volatile
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situation in the middle east that has very consequential issues for u.s. is national security interests. >> let's talk about the late ambassador chris stevens and the attack, because there are some reports that this was a planned attack. >> well, many sources telling me that they believe that this was clearly a planned attack. not something like you had in the u.s. embassy in cairo yesterday as well, when, you know, you had a lot of protests and an angry mob. this was not an angry mob. this was clearly a military-type attack, and they took advantage of other protesters in the area to kind of get in and breach the wall. that these people, extremists, but maybe a group affiliated with al qaeda, have been looking for an opportunity, looking for an interest to attack the embassy. >> elise labatt, live in washington, d.c., thank you. >> in a few minutes, the "starting point" team will take it from here.
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>> the breaking news is developing minute by minute. as turmoil spreads across the middle east this morning, protesters furious over a controversial film about muslims made here in the u.s. they've now stormed the grounds of american embassy in a yemeni exam sanaa and in the swiss capital that handles the u.s. interests. we're covering this breaking news in the way that only cnn can. reporters around the world live from libya, from egypt, from yemen, along with the vast sources in the pentagon and washington. we've also been talking to guests who have been briefed with the very latest information. we'll talk to libya's ambassador to the u.s., senator john mccain, house minority whip steny hoyer, mike rogers, and a personal friend to the late ambassador, chris stevens, harvey morris. as i said, this is developing minute by minute. stay with us for the breaking news coverage all morning long. [ male announcer ] when this hotel added aflac
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that's it for us. i'm zoraida sambolin. >> "starting point" begins now. >> good morning to you. once again, a very, very busy news morning. i'm brooke baldwin. >> and i'm john berman. soledad o'brien off all this week. this morning, new clashes erupt in iran, yemen, and right out the u.s. embassies. >> all of this as the u.s. is amping up the hunt for a killer mob. we now have marines on the ground and navy destroyers moving in after those ferocious rioters stormed the u.s. embassy in libya as well as killing four americans, idi